Joani Blank, Cohousing Pioneer, Passed August 6, 2016
Neil Planchon, long time friend and neighbor of Joani Blank at Swan’s Market Cohousing, is sharing sad news of her passing, below. Along with appreciating the amazing person she was, we are all grateful to Joani for her significant contributions to growing cohousing, from the personal attention she gave to so many people and communities to help them on their journey, to the advice and inspiration she shared through leading tours, presenting at conferences, and writings of her considerable experiences.
Hello everyone in Cohousing-l land…
I am attaching two recent messages about Joani – my longtime personal friend, neighbor and Cohousing ambassadress. One of mine and the other Amika’s (Joani’s daughter) are below….
I am saddened as I share with you that Joani passed away Saturday (8/6) around 5:30PM. She had loving family by her side who shepherded her through the last stage of this life.
Rest in peace, Joani (my sweet)
(Swan’s Market Cohousing – http://www.swansway.com )
And here is the message which Amika posted on Facebook on August 7th…
“My mama passed yesterday, at home, Blossom and me and Bapu by her side…My family was blessed to have spent this sacred time with this lovely woman who raised me as her own.
“She was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in June, took the news like a champ and did like she always does…got down to business and handled logistics and preparations. She chose to have a Celebration of Life rather than a funeral, and at celebration last week, she was able to say her goodbyes and feel the love of her community.
“She opened her celebration addressing police brutality and honoring the Black Lives Matter movement. Her life was based on advancing social justice issues, and the bigger picture always took precedence over her personal struggles. The celebration was another platform for her to acknowledge what was really important to her. She had a rapid decline after the celebration, and I think she felt she had completed what she needed to.
“This fierce revolutionary woman has taught us all so much. She has done so many things in her full days here on earth and I know you all have stories…share them if you feel like it. If I made this post about all she’s done it would take days.
“Instead, we are honoring the graceful way she passed. She relaxed into the process and let go of trying to control anything…she was able to receive love and care, and transformed into this gentle and vulnerable Queen. She spoke with each one of my kids and my Papa in the last days of her consciousness. She passed me the “boss torch”, and gave her blessings to my incarcerated other half as he led us in family prayer on the phone. We laid with her and watched her take her last breath. She had a sweet smile on her face and was comfortable. Milo joined us and we covered her body in henna tattoos, flowers from the garden, frankincense and lavender oils, and filled her space with candlelight, sage, copal, and Palos Santos. Bapu stayed curled up with her in bed…we played music and looked at pictures and laughed and cried. It was exactly what she wanted, and it was beautiful to hold space for her at the gates…”